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PC Hardware Annoyances by Stephen J. Bigelow

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Chapter 2. Laptop and PDA Annoyances

My old Toshiba 4600 came with a tiny, 12-inch VGA display. I almost went blind from all the squinting and nearly got a hernia carrying that behemoth around. Mobile computing still had a few years before it really caught fire, but I had already caught the bug.

The rest of the world eventually caught on to the advantages of mobile computing. And while desktop systems still rule the roost, their lead shrinks every day. Students, salespeople, estimators, and even everyday PC geeks crave notebooks, sub-notebooks, tablets, PDAs, and all manner of intelligent devices. Of course, this trend will only continue as features improve and wireless access (once a limitation to true mobility) spreads across homes and offices.

However, mobile computers still suffer from some chronic weak spots. This chapter examines some typical startup annoyances and gets into some of the nitty-gritty issues surrounding battery life, display performance, and maintenance.

SETUP/STARTUP ANNOYANCES

USE THE CD/DVD SPINDLE

The Annoyance:

When I place a CD in my laptop’s DVD-ROM drive, it just flops around in the drive.

The Fix:

Hmmmm...okay, I know this may sound a wee bit basic, but the optical drives used in desktop and mobile PCs typically employ different spindles. On desktop drives, you just seat the disc into the drive tray and close it. Laptop drives have a spindle in the tray, so you have to gently (I said gently) push the disc onto the spindle until it snaps into place before you ...

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